Internet Service Providers - Speed Test (2013)

For about 1.5 years, I have been using Eastlink's cable modem technology for my Internet access, as I wrote about in Internet Service Providers - Speed Test (2011). The Eastlink Customer Service call center agents are typically pleasant and helpful. In the early days, the Eastlink billing department could not get it right to send the bills to my mailing address (post office box). They kept sending to my civic address to which Canada Post does not deliver. After repeated calls to Eastlink's billing department, they finally got it right by sending the bill to my mailing address, but only after racking up a bill for a couple hundred dollars and close to facing payment delinquency.

Before I signed up for the Eastlink cable modem Internet access service, I called Bell Aliant, the incumbent "telco" for this area, to inquire when their fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) FibreOP offering is coming to my area. Their advertising blitz was obviously getting my attention. They would not comment on a timeline. Therefore, I went with Eastlink - the only viable option at that time which was better than the Bell Aliant DSL technology.

I had the Eastlink Internet service with 20Mbps download and 2Mbps upload. The usage was uncapped with that package. For the most part, the service was reliable and available 24/7. I ran a home server accessible from the Internet for a smartphone app and Internet connectivity downtime was not a factor. Then 2 weeks ago, I endured a 3-hour outage followed 3 days later by a 10-hour outage which triggered me to look at alternatives. [I was told by Eastlink Customer Service that they had a fiber cut as well as cable headend issues.]

In late 2012, FibreOP was launched in my area and Bell Aliant sent sales representatives door-to-door in an attempt to sign up new subscribers in order to eat Eastlink's lunch. Because I was happy with my Eastlink Internet access service at that time, I did not have motivation to switch to FibreOP. Also, I knew better than to be bleeding-edge so I waited.

Well, what you don't know can hurt you. As I did my investigation and called Bell Aliant, I came to realize that they had just doubled the bandwidth on their FibreOP offerings with a base package for 50Mbps download and 30Mbps upload. No installation fee. No usage caps. No contracts. Payment after each month's service. 30 days notice for cancellation. I asked if I was talking to Bell Aliant!

The Bell Aliant FibreOP Internet 50/30 package is $30/month for the first 3 months, then $70/month after that. My Eastlink 20/2 package was costing me $66/month. And the kicker is Eastlink is offering $50/month to new subscribers. I did not even consider going through the Eastlink customer retention department. I signed up with Bell Aliant.

My speed testing includes the usage of two sites speedtest.bellaliant.net and speedtest.net. The former is served by Bell Aliant, presumably with servers optimized and dedicated for test response time - as such, the test results are very consistent at 50Mbps download and 30Mbps upload. The latter tends to be highly variable depending on server resources and traffic routing over the Internet involving more routers. Click each image to enlarge.

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January 14, 2015
The Bell Aliant FibreOP Internet 50/30 service has been upgraded to 75/30.

September 1, 2015
Start Communications 25/10 Mbps service.

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